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Luminous Blue Variables & Mass Loss near the Eddington Limit

  • Stan Owocki (a1) and Allard Jan van Marle (a1)
Abstract

During the course of their evolution, massive stars lose a substantial fraction of their initial mass, both through steady winds and through relatively brief eruptions during their Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) phase. This talk reviews the dynamical driving of this mass loss, contrasting the line-driving of steady winds to the potential role of continuum driving for eruptions during LBV episodes when the star exceeds the Eddington limit. A key theme is to emphasize the inherent limits that self-shadowing places on line-driven mass loss rates, whereas continuum driving can in principle drive mass up to the “photon-tiring” limit, for which the energy to lift the wind becomes equal to the stellar luminosity. We review how the “porosity” of a highly clumped atmosphere can regulate continuum-driven mass loss, but also discuss recent time-dependent simulations of how base mass flux that exceeds the tiring limit can lead to flow stagnation and a complex, time-dependent combination of inflow and outflow regions. A general result is thus that porosity-mediated continuum driving in super-Eddington phases can explain the large, near tiring-limit mass loss inferred for LBV giant eruptions.

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References
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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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